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  1. Stephen Dunstan

    Shetland autumn rarity thread 2019

    As I do this from July to October just to say I haven’t forgotten and will update when back in the country in a week and a half. I will also remind people of the scoring then. Hopefully it’s as productive as the spring. Stephen
  2. Stephen Dunstan

    Fire at Fair Isle Bird Observatory

    Just seen that there is a fire at the obs and additional firefighters have been helicoptered in from the mainland. Hope the damage isn't too significant.
  3. Stephen Dunstan

    Shetland autumn rarity thread

    Ok, as at least one person is interested I am doing this again. It's from 1 July to 31 October, and a reminder of the scoring:- BBRC - Gold Scottish rarity - Silver Shetland rarity - Bronze And this is how 2017 finished:- Mainland 22, 19, 15 Fair Isle 16, 11, 8 Unst 15, 4, 6 Foula 10, 2, 1...
  4. Stephen Dunstan

    Autumn rarity thread

    Does anyone have any views on what form this might take this year. I can do the intra-Shetland one again, but happy to stand aside for any of the prior ones where comparisons are on a broader front. Conscious that if I do a Shetland July-October one (not being talked into going into November...
  5. Stephen Dunstan

    Sal, Cape Verde, April 2018

    Off to Sal for a couple of weeks tomorrow and will post as I go. It's an island lots of birders just pass through en route to others holding the endemic and localised species. It is well placed to get Cape Verde migrants from the east though, and has habitat at Terra Boa to hold them. Last...
  6. Stephen Dunstan

    Monthly UK previews

    Long shot, but I thought I would try. A year or two back Birdwatch did some good pieces on what scarce and rare birds to find in the coming month. I have it in my head they were written by Paul French and Dan Brown, but I could be wrong. Anybody know what year they were published? Stephen
  7. Stephen Dunstan

    Shetland flights

    For anyone thinking of getting to Shetland for birding trips via Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow Flybe are pulling out from January. It never looked like there was room for two providers on the routes, and so it has proved. If you already have a booking you should have heard, but basically you...
  8. Stephen Dunstan

    Loganair flights

    Anyone booked with Loganair for their Shetland autumn trip might want to check their flight is still running. Both outward and inbound were cancelled in my case and they hadn't told me, they are apparently 'working through the list' of people affected. Stephen
  9. Stephen Dunstan

    Yellow Wagtail racial identification

    I was wondering if anybody had views on the race of this Yellow Wagtail I photographed on Sal in the Cape Verdes last month. It has been accepted as thunbergi, but other options have been suggested on other identification forums. I have a recording of the call but not sure how to get it in a...
  10. Stephen Dunstan

    Sal, Cape Verde

    Just back from ten days on Sal. Although it wasn't a birding holiday, thanks to an understanding wife I was allowed out every day. Although the total number of species only just exceeded 40 I was privileged to find a first for the archipelago in the form of a Rosy Starling, whilst a Yellow...
  11. Stephen Dunstan

    Small scale Shetland - Skerries September 2015

    Given the forecast looks to hold a few birds I will try and blog daily whilst I am there. For those who haven't seen the ones I have done in the past it will hopefully give some insight into what birding a small island is like compared with moving between sites on mainland. The recently...
  12. Stephen Dunstan

    Azores Pelagic 23-30 August 2014

    There are many Azores trip reports out there, but given formal Azores pelagic holidays are a relatively new proposition I thought my experiences on this year's trip might be helpful to some readers. Essentially Peter Alfrey runs the trips, but Archipelago Azores are the hosting company. They...
  13. Stephen Dunstan

    Zoo bird escape prosecution

    http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/dalton-zoo-owner-charged-with-allowing-animals-to-escape-1.1153344?cache=cachehiguain%2525252525252frk%2525252525253d0%2525252525252frs%2525252525253dotuo.36vy2tp%25252 I was surprised to see this. Whilst there have been a number of incidents at this zoo over the...
  14. Stephen Dunstan

    Out Skerries ferry changes

    Any crews doing Shetland this autumn considering a day on Out Skerries may want to know that a new timetable will launch on 26th August. In essence it is generally less straightforward to day trip Skerries. On Saturday you need to go via Whalsay and change ferries. On Sunday you can get in...
  15. Stephen Dunstan

    Brent Geese with eye rings

    I was watching a flock of Brent Geese this morning at Roa Island, Cumbria, and was surprised to see one of them (a pale-bellied race bird) had white eye rings. I don't see that many Brents but I would have thought I would have seen this in pictures on the internet. Is it a regular variation...
  16. Stephen Dunstan

    Hybrid goose

    Apologies for this being a captive bird, but for my own education I wondered if anyone had any views on its parentage. I have a few more shots if required. Stephen
  17. Stephen Dunstan

    Out Skerries 12th-23rd October

    Given the weather looks promising I have decided to set up a new thread for this blog, rather than tag it on to the one for last autumn. Saturday 13th October When I arrived to check in at Manchester Airport there was no trace of my booking on the Aberdeen flight, this was not an auspicious...
  18. Stephen Dunstan

    Lanzarote pelagic 15th-16th September

    Notwithstanding the lost posts some years ago this is my 3000th post on here, so I thought I would use it for something a bit special. On Friday I will be flying from Manchester to Lanzarote, then Saturday and Sunday we will be at sea in the area that has been delivering rare seabirds. Monday...
  19. Stephen Dunstan

    Out Skerries June 2012

    At the airport Shetland bound. I will do a blog again as some people liked the last one. It may not be a thrill a minute in northerly winds!!! Stephen
  20. Stephen Dunstan

    Canary Islands cruise 22nd-29th October

    This isn't going to be a typical Canary Islands trip report, and I did wonder whether to do it all. However I figured that some BF users might go on cruises and hopefully it will be of use to some of you. I will add to it in bits over the next few days. The itinery was: Day 1 and 2 - depart...
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